Corporate Wikis: Implementation Strategy

What is a Wiki

A wiki is a Web site that lets visitors easily add, remove and change the content. The best known example of Wiki is Wikipedia.

I found this useful video on Youtube, which explain the following:

  • What a Wiki is
  • Why a Wiki can be a powerful teaching and learning tool
  • Some Best Practices for utilising a Wiki
  • Where to get started with your own Wiki

Wikis are now making their way into corporations where they are used as collaborative software to handle such tasks as project management, tech support, research and development, event planning and customer relationship management (businessweek.com, 2007).

BAS

Wiki solutions are being utilized more and more internally in organizations as a way to promote collaboration and information sharing. In this blog post I will present a strategy to implement a Wiki specifically designed to serve the stakeholders as a knowledge bases and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Current Situation

Many of the medium-to-low level employees in BAS Est. are facing repetitive issues frequently. Some of these issues include;

  • Proper Chain of Command Formal Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • File Archiving and Retrieving

The collaborative nature of wikis makes it the perfect tool to distribute information to a large group of readers by offering an up-to-date employee handbook, dispensing information about common questions and making general office announcements (Nations, 2011).

Wiki Evaluation

The Wiki must be searchable and can also provides search option to the attached documentation.  The Wiki must be easy to maintain and modify. The Wiki must also have built in metrics collection that at least tracks the number of pages, number of users, and number of page views for the system.  Finally, price is necessary for evaluating the Wiki tools.

This post will provide 2 examples of Wikis:

  1. Screwturn Wiki – free and open source software that can be used for group collaboration, and as a personal wiki.
  2. Social Text –  a secure, group-editable website. Instead of sending emails and attachments, users can use private web pages to work together from a different location.

Implementation Strategy

Before we implement a Wiki we needs to have a structured plan for evaluation, implementation and maintenance. Enterprise 2.0 Framework will be used as a reference to successfully implement Wiki in BAS Est. local network.

Implementation Plan:

  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): is a good practice that can bu used to implement the Wiki over a long period of time (for example 2 year).
  • Team Formatting: is an important step to support this project throughout the implementation process.  The team must be a special interest group and have the time to meet regularly.
  • Project Champions: Low-to-Medium size staff must be identified and supported in order to support this initiative.
  • Pilot Program: will provide a period of time to evaluate the selected Wiki software solution to ensure it meets the needs of the stakeholder of BAS.
  • System Maintenance:  The system has to performs optimally and has minimal to no down time.  This includes developing and executing a data backup plan.  Individuals from the special interest group will maintain the system and answer user questions. In general the Wiki needs to be easy to use with minimal to no training required.
  • Monthly Metrics  Collection: Metrics should has at least the number of users of the system; the number of pages created; the number of page views; the most frequented content and total data storage size.
  •  Monthly Meeting Review:  Meeting will be to discuss any issues, current best practices, and lessons learned.  The metrics will also be reviewed to discuss current statistics.
  • Annual Review: This will be an opportunity to discuss the continuation of the group and the Wiki itself.
  • Identify and leverage success stories: a good story of a successful implementation of a corporate internal Wiki is the story of Intelpedia!
  • Identify Key Risks and Internal Barriers: In this blog post I have identify 3 major risks, their possible scenarios and how to avoid them.
  • Proposed Wiki: This is the finsal stage where a Wiki that meet the above requirement can be chosen. The nominated Wiki has to provide a friendly user interface, with a robust content editor to allow Wiki user/builder to easily add information to the site.
  • Employee Recognition / Reward: The implementation of a Wiki should consider how recognition of individuals who contribute will be handled.

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References:

Business Week. (2007). Corporate Wikis: CEO Guide To Technology. Retrieved September 26, 2011

Nations, D. (2001). Wiki in the Workplace. Retrieved September 26, 2011

The story of Intelpedia: A model corporate wiki. Retrieved September 27, 2011

Greenier, T. (2007). Wiki Implementation Strategy. University Of Pittsburgh Joseph. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 

Implementing Enterprise 2.0: Key benefits and risks

Note: click on the diagram to enlarge it (diagram 1.0 reference)

Diagram 1.0: Enterprise 2.0 Implementation Framework

If you take a look at the Framework above, you would realise that understanding the potential benefits and risks of Enterprise 2.0 that are related to organisation is important to be able to engage in this framework cycle. These benefits and risks vary from one company to another. Therefore, analysis must take place to come up with the greatest potential benefits, and avoid potentially risks and concerns.

Key potential benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0

The following table (Figure 1.0) will highlight the potential benefits of implementing Enterprise 2.0 in relevant organisation: (Figure 1.0 Reference)

Figure 1.0: Key Potential Benefits of Implementing Enterprise 2

Key risks and concerns in implementing Enterprise 2.0

The following table (Figure 2.0) will highlight the perceived risks when implementing Enterprise 2.0. These risks must be fully understood and addressed in order for organisations to feel confident when adopting Enterprise 2.0 approaches. (Figure 2.0 Reference)

Figure 2.0: Key risks of implementing Enterprise 2.0

Examples of real Enterprise 2.0 benefits:

1- Towers Watson is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance. They find out that companies with highly effective employee communication had 47% higher total returns to shareholders compared with firms that are the least effective communicators. This of course can be accomplished by implementing Web 2.0 tools

2- TVNZ have reduced email overload by the aid of Web 2.0 social tools. Prior to the use of the SnapComms Internal Communications channels, an average of 25 ‘mass email updates’ were being sent separately to staff each week. The interruption caused by these messages arriving separately was impacting productivity and causing email overload.

In conclusion

I personally believe that adopting Enterprise 2.0 in most organisation has more pros than cons, especially if Enterprise 2.0 Implementation Framework has been used. In addition, most risks are perceived ones and can be avoided if strong security policy has been maintained.

Recommended Readings:

1. 21 Enterprise 2.0 Success Stories

2. Changing Organization Behavior at XM Radio through Enterprise 2.0 and QuickBase

3 . Serena has Adopted Facebook as their Intranet

4. A Collection of 50+ Enterprise 2.0 Case Studies and Examples

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References:

1- Dawson R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0. Enterprise 2.0 Implementation Framework. Retrieved 21 August, 2011

2- Dawson R. (2009). Implementing Enterprise 2.0. Chapter 4: Key benefits and risks. Retrieved 21 August, 2011

3- 2009/2010 Communication ROI Study Report: Capitalizing on Effective Communication [TowersWatson]

4- Internal Communications in a Downturn at TVNZ [New Zealand Broadcasting company]

The Power of Web 2.0 Technology

Web 2.0 is not only changing the way people share information, but it’s changing the world! Yes I believe that Web 2.0 applications can be used for connecting and bonding as well as for work and development purposes. Today there are many terms that are associated with Web 2.0 such as:

What does that mean? Web 2.0 applications allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast with Web 1.0 where websites are static (limited to passive viewing of content). Today I don’t want to re-mention Web 2.0 great application. However, I will introduce to you a great Web 2.0 tool that can be used for businesses as well as for students or individuals.

Dropbox!

I have been using this tools for this semester in my group assignments and I found it very helpful compare to email or IM application; in term of collaboration and communication. Dropbox can be used as an online USB or to share files and media on the web.  Any file you save in your Dropbox account also instantly saves to your computers, phones, and the Dropbox website. In addition, any file you save in your account can also be shared securely among your friends or co-workers.

Dropbox for teams Vs email Vs Google Docs Vs IM application 

Web 1.0 tools such as email has the problem of information overload. On the other hand, Google Docs is a great tool but, it has the problem of supporting a limited range of file types. IM such as Skype or MSN, can only be used when participate are online.

However, I found Dropbox a robust tool that can be used by individuals or enterprises. This is because sharing a file in Dropbox between friends or for collaboration and  communication purposes is simple! You just need to sign up for Dropbox and download their free application that can be found in multiple platform such as Window, Mac OS, iPhone or on the web. After that, you can just drag and drop any file you want in your Dropbox folder that exist in your machine and choose who want to see and update your share files securely.

To see how Dropbox works, please click here